Florida Workers’ Compensation and Offsite Injuries

Most Florida workers’ compensation claims originate from accidents that occurred when employees were on the premises of a workplace. Florida’s workers’ compensation system provides benefits to those who have been injured on the job.

Employees might not be sure if such injuries are covered since they happened at work or during delivery or business trips. Apologies are sometimes related to injuries that happened off-site.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 306 workplace fatalities occurred in Florida in 2019. According to the report, Florida has experienced a decline in work-related deaths. As of 2019, there were 5,333 work-related fatalities in the United States, an increase of 2% compared to 5,250 in 2018. The state had a high of 422 fatalities in 2004 and a low of 218 in 2012. Approximately 5,333 fatal accidents occurred at work in 2019, an increase from seven years ago.

Eligibility for Florida Workers’ Compensation:

Here are some things you should remember regarding eligibility:

  • Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program. You don’t have to prove the employer was negligent.
  • Coverage is mandatory for most businesses with at least four employees, and for construction businesses with one employee.

Are Accidents That Happen Off-Site Covered?

If you are an employee of a company that provides coverage, and that employer must provide benefits during the time you are working at that employer, you should be eligible for benefits. It is possible to be injured elsewhere, but you will still be covered by the employer you work for.

Examples of Off-Site Work-Related Activities:

A licensed lawyer should discuss every situation in detail. However, here are some examples of circumstances that may be covered:

Delivering Goods:

Truck drivers who are injured in a car accident while delivering goods can claim workers’ compensation benefits.

Getting Remote Work Done:

Injuries may be covered if they are the result of working from home during work hours.

Taking a Business Trip:

When you are out of town on a business trip to meet a client, you are likely to be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Running an Errand for Your Boss:

A boss may ask you to go to the bank and deposit company funds or to procure an office or other administrative supplies. In this case, your errand is part of your job.

Injuries During Your Lunch Break Are Usually Not Covered

Most Florida workers’ compensation policies do not cover injuries sustained during lunch breaks. The general rule is not absolute, but there are some exceptions. The courts will consider whether the employer profited from the employee’s actions at that time. Here are some examples:

Bring Lunch to Your Boss

This could be considered a commission for the benefit of the employer and covered if a boss asks an employee to buy them lunch so that they can continue working at their desk. It is unlikely that the worker will be covered in the case where they run personal errands on their break while offering to bring their co-workers’ food.

Company Cafeteria

An employer with a company cafeteria would have an advantage since workers would not have to leave the premises for lunch, and they would be encouraged to return to work immediately afterward. As a result, accidents that occur in the dining room would be covered.

Participating in non-work activities or using a company car for business travel does not automatically qualify you for benefits. It is also not possible to recover compensation for an injury that occurred during your commute to work.

How About Recreational Activities?

It is possible to get coverage if you are injured at a company picnic or party if it is sponsored by the employer. The situation might be the same in some states.

Florida, however, operates on different dynamics. If the employee did not have to participate in the event, or if it was not a team-building event, then it is not covered under state workers’ compensation law if it occurred during an after-hours recreational activity sponsored by the employer.

As a result, if you planned the event during business hours and it was part of your job, you are entitled to be covered by a liability insurance policy.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

People who are injured off-site often have many questions about Florida workers’ compensation benefits, believing it is unnecessary or not worth filing a claim. The majority of injuries qualify for benefits, and to determine your eligibility it is a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer at our firm. Our legal consultations are free and involve no risk to you.

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